Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recorded Music

This is the second time I have heard complaints about the way the sound is processed before being recorded on a CD. Via

Saturday, June 28, 2008

About email addresses

Friday, June 27, 2008

Nashville Teens - Tobacco Road

I stumbled across this. I hadn't heard this song since I don't know when.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Batting Practice

Nephew Nick and brother Andy. And the shovel.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


"A" sent the rest of us some links, which engendered a little chat:

Idle Pleasures

M: "The book gives tantalizing anthropological insights into society's views on those lazy habits that the author so enjoys, but the viewpoint is so antiquated and condescending toward the poor slobs who must actually go to work every day that readers will often find themselves staring aghast at the page."

A-ghast. Curious word. I should look that up someday, but just now I have a plate a cucumber sandwiches that seem to beckon me, arisen, as it were, they seem to have, from the very prettily starched tablecloth upen which they sit, cooled by the silver platter they occupy.

D: It occurs to me that M is the only one of us working a job right now...

C: Yes, and he is the only one with cucumber sandwiches.

D: Can maintaining a multi-media website, writing and publishing books, and promoting events really be considered "idle?" Isn't that a bit disingenuous? Like hunting whales, and donating the proceeds to "save the whales?"

C: Hmmm. If it's what you were going to do anyway and it turned out to make you some money, well maybe. If you are doing with the intent of turning a profit, well maybe not. There is idle, and there is bored. Even when I am idle, I need something to do.

M: Being truly idle includes not thinking about it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Love Song For Joyce

Poking around on the internet I came across this story by Ambulance Driver. It's a little over a year old, but it's still a heck of a good story.

Friday, June 20, 2008


When life throws adversity at you, how do you determine whether it is:
A) A test of your fortitude and mental strength, which will result in reward;
B) A signal that you are pursuing the wrong path and should correct course?

Currently I can only do a sort of rudimentary cost-benefit, risk-reward analysis, and that is based on probablilities and expected outcomes which are fundementally unknowable. Unsatisfactory.

Submit your answers to enter a drawing for a free loaf of pumpernickel!


----- Answer ------

There is no future. There is only the now.

My college eduated son says the one true way is Monadology.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Witch, witch!

After seeing this ad on TV, I have been using that phrase to denounce any clever approaches to program problem solving.


Friday, June 13, 2008


Dateline Iowa,

The TV news is running 24/7, much video of Cedar Rapids under water.

Things I heard:

-) Sandbag basement drains and sumps to slow down water entering basement
-) Officials announced flood would at most be 3 feet above devasting flood of 1993, 22 feet. Currently 32 foot above flood stage.
-) Big main, modern fire department under 10' of water.
-) If well funded and water recedes quickly, 30 days to strip business to impermeable, dry out, back into movein condition.
-) Many homes and businesses won't be rehabbed within 30 days and will have to be destroyed.
-) Neighbors' son lived and work downtown CR, 2nd story apartment OK. Couple days ago they learned business would be flooded with a couple feet, sandbagged, then water rose quickly to 4 foot deep and breached bags.

I offered through friends, my house as a sanctuary for a family in need. But CR is 70 miles away.

I am headed to Fort Madison, where Mississippi is expected to rise dramatically higher than the flood of month ago. Glad I don't have a boat in the marina. Maybe I can snag a run-away boat escaping downstream.

Come to think of it house boats in CR are breaking away.....but would be reduced to flotsam by the time they reached FM.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Report from Iowa

Sirens going off, tornado 8 miles south moving NE at 51 mph.



Hi, from Fairfield,

Survived bypassing of tornado ( dopplered, not seen)

Sky was really spooky clouds going every which-way.
The Sky did turn pale green in the area of the tornado.
Rained hard, blew, then all was quiet.

The news pics of Cedar Rapids are sobering.
I had driven down many of those streets with the affordably priced homes.
They are now have water up over the 2nd story.
500 year flood 14 years after the 100 flood.
They expected it to go a couple feet over the 19' 1993 high-water mark.
It is now 27 feet and climbing.
Saw a TV news clip about a Jon boat rescuing a couple old guys from their brick house, while the boatmen was fighting a fast moving current. jeeze.

Was at the neighbors helping him figure out vcr-DVD dubbing. His weather radio kept coming on every 15 minutes with new warnings of everything within a 100 miles.


Monday, June 9, 2008


From known associates:
This is a couple years old but contains some good stats:

US is about 25% of world oil consumption;
US imports about 60% of oil consumed;
About 45% of each barrel goes to gasoline -- balance to diesel, industrial production;
Some gas goes to delivery vans and taxis, thus about 40% of each barrel of oil goes to gas for commuter and leisure driving.
I found this surprising:

(for 2008) "Canada remained the largest exporter of total petroleum in March, exporting 2.542 million barrels per day to the United States, which is an increase from last month (2.464 thousand barrels per day). The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Saudi Arabia with 1.542 million barrels per day."

I sold CNQ a couple years ago after it had doubled. It doubled again.

Energy Information Administration

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gas Gun

I am not quite sure what to make of this picture, but it is certainly startling. Shooting ones self in the head with a gasoline nozzle? Is that what we are all doing?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Letter from CA

I'm writing from the Mountain View library, over the free WiFi network that Google has provided for MV.
MV library is very nice, superior even to Foster City, bigger, better appointed, more computers.
Google Wifi sounds attractive because it's free, they have a secure encrypted version, and they have nodes all over MV -- including one directly across the street from my apt. Sounds great, right? Well there are all kinds of conditionals: the signal works best outside, but if you want to get it inside your house, you need a "wifi modem" to capture and amplify the signal.
How does a "modem" differ from an "antenna," "amplifier," "bridge," or a "wifi wireless LAN ethernet converter adapter card?" I have no idea. But there are apparently only a couple items that will work:
Ruckus Metroflex Wi-Fi Modem and
Peplink Surf 200 Wi-Fi modem
Reading the support page, I see all kinds of comments like:
"I bought the modem and still can't get the signal."
"I get a strong signal but my PC still won't connect."
"I get a strong signal but only intermittently; it's very unreliable."
Anyway I configured a connect profile here at the library for the Google "secure" connection. I'll test it in front of my building. If I can get a strong, consistent signal, maybe I'll invest in a "modem" and try to access it from inside. But what do you bet it turns out to be a crock? There's always Comcast.
Initial search for hotspots at my building revealed DOZENS, mostly secured.
I'm leary of poaching an unsecured node, although I used in FC for 18 months with no apparent identity theft issues. Comments?
Other notes on the move:
Apartment is OK, large spacious with nice appointments, but no in unit washer/dryer or garage. Residents seem mature and reasonably well-behaved, but who the hell knows.
Even with few actual problems, the move was exhausting and depressing.
After years of ranting about the financial foolishness of buying a house, and my dogged determination to live in cheap apartments, I have quite suddenly become intolerant of seedy living conditions: I don't like living around poor people, living in dirty neighborhoods, making the best of crummy apartments, and mouthing platitudes like "people everywhere are all alike, and all deserve respect."
For whatever reasons, my values seem to have finally caught up with the average upper middle class person, viz:
I'm going to drive the extra mile to the nice Safeway, so I don't have to see or be around fat Mexicans wearing huge t-shirts and huge black jeans and braided ponytails and tatoos, dragging their filthy kids around. I'm going to spend the extra money to live in a nice place, around cleaner quieter people, because I don't like seeing trash and plastic crap and kid paraphernalia all around. People everywhere AREN'T all alike, and they DON'T all deserve respect. I may even buy a "nice" car.
I won't say I'm "embracing" it, I see it as more of a capitulation. And I guess all this makes me a big elitist fag. Well, whatever, I have no explanation. That's just the way it is. I await to see what horrible judgement befalls me for being vain and effete. My bet is, no penalty in particular. It may just as likely produce benefits somehow.
I've long held these loosely formed beliefs in social justice that say, "no one gets a Mercedes until everybody is at least fed." Well I see nothing past or present to indicate that that's the way the world works. So why should I be the one stuck out in the cold, stubbornly adhering to some radical fringe viewpoint, and probably suffering considerable detriment as a result? Stupid.
Last notes: transitional periods highlight the things one really values. Over the past 3 weeks, I've learned some of mine:
My coffee machine and good coffee;
Hot water for bathing;
Razor and shave cream;
News radio;
Internet connection, computer and printer;
Preparing my own food;
Clean commodious accomodations;
Peace and quiet.
I wasn't without wheels but that's gotta be up at the top too.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

If you ever watch PBS you have undoubtably seen that this program was made possible by a grant from the "John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation". So, did you ever wonder just who John D. MacArthur was? My brother found a video he liked: Cspan BookTV program. I didn't watch it because it uses Real Player, which I despise.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008